Vitamins and minerals A-Z
Vegetarians can obtain all the vitamins they need from a balanced and varied diet.
Vitamin A (and beta-carotene) - Found in milk, butter, cheese, yogurt, cream and egg yolks. Beta-carotene is found in carrots, squash, pumpkin, sweet potato, dark green leafy vegetables (spinach and broccoli), red peppers, tomatoes, and yellow fruits such as apricots, mango and peaches.
Vitamin B1 Thiamin - Found in brown rice, wholemeal bread, fortified flour, fortified breakfast cereals, pulses, nuts, potatoes and yeast extract.
Vitamin B2 Riboflavin - Found in milk and dairy products, eggs, cereals, wholemeal bread, rice, yeast extract, green leafy vegetables (broccoli and spinach), mushrooms and beverages such as beer, lager and tea.
Vitamin B3 Niacin - Found in wholegrain and fortified cereals, maize, fortified flour, yeast extract, coffee beans and beverages such as beer and lager.
Vitamin B6 Pyridoxine - Found in wholegrains such as brown rice, oatmeal, and wholemeal bread, fortified cereal products, potatoes, bananas, soya beans, nuts, pulses, yeast extract and beverages such as beer and lager.
Vitamin B12 Cobalamin - Found in milk, dairy products and eggs. Fortified plant foods include soya milk, breakfast cereals, veggieburger mixes, yeast extract and herbal soft drinks.
Folate - Found in cereal products, potatoes, pulses (e.g. chickpeas, black-eyed beans), leafy green vegetables (e.g. broccoli), nuts, yeast extract and fruits such as oranges and bananas.
Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) - Found in citrus fruits, strawberries, guava, berries, currants, fruit juice, potatoes and nuts. Vegetables such as cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, kale and green peppers are rich sources but large amounts of the vitamin are lost during food storage, preparation and cooking.
Vitamin D - Synthesised from sunlight and also found in eggs, fortified margarines, breakfast cereals and soya milk.
Vitamin E - Found in margarine and spreads, foods high in fat such as crisps, vegetable oils such as corn, soya and sunflower but not olive oil and small amounts in dairy products.
Vitamin K - Found in dark leafy greens such as cabbage, kale, spinach and broccoli, vegetable oils such as rapeseed, soybean and olive, but not corn or sunflower oil. Smaller amounts are found in eggs and dairy products.
Calcium - Found in milk and dairy products (cheese and yoghurt), leafy green vegetables (but not spinach), bread and foods containing white or brown flour, nuts, sesame seeds, tofu, pulses, fortified soya drinks and tap water in hard water areas.
Iron - Found in pulses, nuts and seeds, cereals and bread made from fortified white flour, fortified breakfast cereals, soybean flour, green leafy vegetables, tofu, dried fruit and molasses.
Magnesium - Found in green leafy vegetables, wholegrains, nuts, bread, breakfast cereals, milk, cheese, potatoes, beverages such as beer and coffee and tap water in hard water areas.
Phosphorus - Found in milk and dairy products, eggs, bread, breakfast cereals, nuts, fruit, vegetables and soft drinks.
Potassium - Found in fruit (bananas, apricots, citrus fruits and fruit juice), vegetables (potatoes, beetroot, mushrooms), pulses, chocolate, milk and dairy products, eggs, nuts, yeast extract, wholegrain cereals and beverages such as coffee, malted milk drinks, wine, beer and cider.
Sodium - Salt is the main source and is found in high levels in processed food, ready meals, crisps, biscuits, yeast extract, cheese and bread.
Zinc - Found in milk and dairy products, eggs, bread (sourdough), cereal products, green leafy vegetables, pulses and pumpkin seeds.
Find out more
You can find out more about vitamins and minerals, including why they are important to our health, information on cooking and storing vitamin rich foods and info on trace elements by reading the in-depth vitamins and minerals fact sheet.